Mourners gather for officer killed in South Carolina ambush

FLORENCE, S.C. — Hundreds of friends, family and fellow officers gathered in South Carolina to say goodbye to a police officer whose chief said he died trying to save three other wounded officers.

The funeral for Florence Police Sgt. Terrence Carraway started Monday morning with mourners filing past his open casket at the city’s civic center.

Carraway was wearing his dress police uniform with the bottom half of his casket draped in an American flag. The logo of his favorite NFL team, the Oakland Raiders, was on the inside of the casket’s lid.

An organ and trumpet played mournful jazz as other officers in uniform, men in suits and women in black dresses slowly filed past.

The funeral service was scheduled to begin at noon.

Carraway was killed and six other officers wounded by 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins in his upscale Florence County neighborhood Wednesday, investigators said.

Hopkins first ambushed three Florence County deputies coming for a prearranged interview with his 28-year-old son about possible sex crime charges against a child, said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, whose agency is investigating. The three wounded deputies remained in the hospital.

Carraway was one of four Florence city officers shot trying to rescue the other officers, investigators said. One remains in the hospital.

It took up to 30 minutes for an armored vehicle to rescue the wounded as Hopkins kept firing, authorities said.

“I was out there. It seemed like forever,” Florence Police Chief Allen Heidler said.

Hopkins was charged with murder and attempted murder and his son Seth Hopkins was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor at almost the same time Friday.

Seth Hopkins was in the home when his father fired at the officers, but Lott said only Frederick Hopkins is charged so far in the shooting.

Carraway had been with the police department for more than 30 years and was heavily involved in youth sports and mentoring.

“He loved this community. He gave it his all. With more than 30 years he didn’t have to do this job,” Heidler said. “But this was his life. And this was what he wanted to do. Serving Florence was his passion.”